Keith Emerson says he was asked to join Yes. The late-night query came during a period in which Rick Wakeman had come and gone — even while his own band, Emerson Lake and Palmer, were in the midst of their 1970s hey day.
The latter part of the decade would see Wakeman exit Yes in 1974, to be replaced by Patrick Moraz through 1976. Wakeman then returned, only to depart again in 1980.
“I got back to England, after a very successful tour — and my phone rings at 11:30 at night,” Emerson remembers in this newly posted video. “It was their then-manager Brian Lane.”
Emerson, still getting over being jetlagged, says his answer was blunt: “I couldn’t believe that I’d been asked if I want to join Yes. My response was: ‘Brian, why would I want to do that? I’ve just come off a tour playing 14,000-seat stadiums — sold out. I’ve got my own band. Why would I want to join Yes?’”